BRUCE BUFFER :
The Operatic Orator of the Octagon
© Marc Wickert 2004 www.knucklepit.com
Photos © Buffer Enterprises Inc.
Or © 2004 Zuffa LLC
Ladies and GentlemenÖDonít be fooled by the black tuxedos: Bruce "The Voice of the UFC Octagon" Buffer has earned two black belts that could be holding his stylish strides up.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 21, 1957, Bruce also has a background in Thai boxing and has studied Jiu Jitsu Do, in which he was awarded a black belt grading.
"In my twenties I was point-fighting, and along with a number of street fights I've been involved with in my life, I knew what real fighting was like, and I wanted to go into a sport fighting style that was more real. Thatís when I entered the worlds of kickboxing and Muay Thai. Because if I was going to fight and go for it, Iíd want to be knocked out or preferably be able to knock somebody out," says Buffer.
Bruceís competitive fighting came to an abrupt end when he suffered from concussion in a bout, which resulted in his having an MRI performed. The doctor advised Buffer to give either fighting or thinking away. Bruce begrudgingly opted to hang up his gloves.
Bruce is President and CEO of Buffer Enterprises Inc., and as well as having his own highly successful announcing career, he is the business partner and manager of his brother, Michael Buffer, and manages his world renowned "Letís Get Ready To Rumble ģ" trademark.
As stated at www.bufferzone.net "Millions of fans around the world have seen Michael Buffer announcing major events such as Championship Boxing, WCW Wrestling, the NBA Championship Finals, the NFL Championships, the NHL Finals, the Indy 500 and the Major League Baseball World Series."
Bruce and Michael Buffer were long-lost half-brothers when they first met 15 years ago. At the time, Michael had already been announcing for eight years. Three years after their first meeting, Bruce took over as Michaelís manager and he noticed there was no solid protection for the merchandising of Michaelís "Letís Get Ready To Rumbleģ" trademark.
Bruce took Michaelís area of expertise from the boxing ring to all codes of sport, and had him appearing in movies, TV shows and making personal appearances for business corporations.
Today, Buffer Enterprises Inc. has grossed retail sales of over $400,000,000 through licensing of the "Letís Get Ready To Rumbleģ" trademark. Some of the companyís many successful ventures include the "Ready 2 Rumble Boxing" video game franchise by Midway, Rumble Robots by Trendmasters, "Ready 2 Rumble Boxing Ring" by Manly Toy Quest, WCW Wrestling toys by ToyBiz and the "Ready to Rumble" movie by Warner Bros.
And Bruce has even bigger plans for the future. "My goal is to say that we marketed a trademark which produced a billion dollars for all our partners and everyone weíve been involved with. That would make it the most successful trademark spoken by a living person in history. I have projects coming up in music, film, TV, more products for sale, more video gamesÖWhat I put into action today will create sales in a year or two years from now."
"When we first got together, I told Michael I was going to create my own announcing career, and we decided that I would not do boxing. I said, ĎSomeday I will find something that is perfect for me.í And lo-and-behold, a year or two later, in 1993, the UFC commenced in the United States. Although it was more of a spectacle back then, I realized this was my inroad."
Bruce actually had Michael Buffer announce UFCs 5, 6 and 7. But he had to have Michael stop announcing the UFCs because of a contract they had with professional wrestling. Then Bruce took over the Octagon work, announcing UFCs 8 and 10, and all the way from UFC 13 up to where the events are now: UFC 48.
Many Mixed Martial Artists have stated that entering the Octagon for the first time is like no other fighting arena, and can be extremely unnerving. "Thereís something about the Octagon that adds tremendous drama. Iíve seen fighters actually lose their offence right in front of me. But thatís what Octagon experience is all about.
"And thatís why, as we all know, experienced fighters are the most dangerous fighters we can come up against. Like Randy Couture, who is the best MMA role model in the sport today: probably the toughest man and one of the most dangerous men in the world. And one of the nicest men youíll ever meet in your life," says Buffer.
Aside from Bruceís reputation as one of the worldís most famous announcers, he is widely respected as an entrepreneur and entertainer. "When I was younger, I owned a nutritional company, and I used to travel the country preaching how to be healthy, and doing motivational speeches. And one thing about doing motivational speeches is you have to be entertaining. If youíre talking about motivation for 20 minutes or 60 minutes, you donít want people falling asleep in front of you. You want to make it entertaining and exciting."
Bruce has also appeared in movies and TV shows, such as Friends, where he co-starred with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. "It's good to be entertaining, especially when on a date with a beautiful girl, my aim is to be as entertaining as possible," says the very single Mr Buffer.
When asked his most memorable experiences in the UFCs, Bruce recalls two events. "The first was when Ken Shamrock faced down Tito Ortiz at UFC 40. The excitement level was UNBELIEVABLE with 13,700 fans there. The equal to that exciting moment, if not a more exciting one, also involved Tito Ortiz, when after two years of bad blood, talk and all that other stuff, he fought Chuck Liddell. The excitement was DEAFENING. I felt energy waves go through my body from every direction. And it was just an incredibly exciting moment in my life to have announced that fight for those two UFC warriors."
Bruce Bufferís Favourite Fighters
"I have many, but to name just a few, at
the top of my list is, number one, Randy Couture. Number two is Frank
Shamrock. Number three would be Tito Ortiz. And number four would be BJ
Penn. Then there's Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Pat Militech, Ken
Shamrock, Don Frye, Mark Coleman, Caro Uno and so many others.
"The UFC and Mixed Martial Arts fighters who train professionally are amongst the greatest athletes in the world. Iíd put Randy Couture on the same level. Both inside their arenas, in the way they participate - and outside their arenas, in the way they carry themselves through lifeÖIíd put Randy on the same level as Michael Jordan."
Bruce Buffer and Randy Couture Heading to Australia
"I leave for Australia on Sunday, May 16. Iíll be there for my 47th birthday (May 21). Thatís one of the reasons why Iím so excited to be going down there: Itís like my birthday present.
"But weíre coming down for the NHB event at the Melbourne Convention Centre on Thursday, May 20. From what I understand, itís the third one theyíve had in Melbourne, and I believe it attracts about 1300 fans. And according to my friend down there, Jonathan, itís important to them to have me go down and join Randy, to give the sport as much legitimate publicity as possible and to help the sport grow.
"Iíve done this in other countries, such as England, where I announced the second MMA event they ever had there. And Iím happy to do whatever I can, because I think MMA is one of the greatest fighting sports in the world."
Does Bruce expect UFC to come back on P-P-V TV in Australia?
"Iíve heard talk the next event (UFC 48: Pay Back) will be on in Australia, and I hope that is true. It should be available on TV for all sports fans to see."
Bruce Buffer: The B & L Man
"Iím definitely a Butt & Leg man. I have model tastes, but the mind has to match. Everything else is icing on the cake, but the butt and legs ARE the cake. Iím coming down to Australia, so make sure you put in there that Iím single, because I understand that you have some beautiful and wonderful girls there."
Email Bruce Buffer
"For anybody who would like to email me or contact me, please just visit my site at www.maxfighting.com and go to the Forum. Iíll answer any questions I can."
For more on UFC 48: www.ufc.tv
For more on Melbourneís NHB: www.NHBfight.com